Bill Kristol is generally on the open borders side of immigration arguments, but he came out on Fox News Sunday opposing the Bush-Kennedy immigration compromise, and for a very good reason:
He’s right: The Z visas will become an incentive for illegals to flood across the border and “prove” that they have been here since before January 1, 2007. If the Z visas become law without meaningful border security in place first, they will be a magnet for more illegal immigration, not just a way to get people “out of the shadows” that many of them seem perfectly content to live in.
In my opinion, fixing the immigration mess without resorting to deporting 12 million (or 20 million or whatever the real number of illegals is) isn’t that hard to figure out.
1. End the “sanctuary cities.” Any city that refuses to enforce federal immigration law loses all federal funds. Those funds will be restored when the city ends its sanctuary practices and demonstrates that it will enforce federal immigration law. The Senate voted down ending sanctuary cities last week, 49-48, which should tell you that the Senate doesn’t really care about basic immigration law enforcement at all. The president wouldn’t sign a bill that killed off sanctuary practices anyway. America’s mayor was a sanctuary mayor, fwiw. Nevertheless, sanctuary cities are a major magnet for illegal immigrants. Remove them from the board and you remove the major attractor that drew them here and keeps them here.
2. Crack down for real on employers who hire illegal aliens. Stiffen the fines. Add jail time for repeat offenders. Make it no longer worth the risk to knowingly hire illegal aliens, and you’ll take away the main driver for employers to hire them, and for illegals to come here.
3. Crack down on the illegal ID trade. The illegal ID trade is part of the infrastructure that enables illegals to live and work here “in the shadows.” Eradicate it. Stiffen fines and penalties for anyone caught manufacturing and selling or distributing fake IDs. Increase local and state police emphasis on the illegal ID industry. This may sound petty, but fake and falsified IDs are a serious national security issue. Fake and falsified IDs enabled terrorists to hijack Flight 77 on 9-11 and every day they facilitate the culture of lawbreaking that is illegal immigration.
4. End the practice of accepting matricula consular cards. They’re not valid American ID, they’re easily faked, so do away with them. Also, end the practice of remittances to foreign recipients via American banks. Anyone using Bank of America and other US financial institutions should be required to produce real proof of identity–a bona fide (and not stolen) Social Security number–before being allowed to send money outside the US.
5. Build the fence and build up the Border Patrol. It’s simple: We have a border and we ought to defend it with real barriers. We can apply what we learn defending our own border to our ongoing work defend the Iraqi borders with Syria and Iran.
Have I called for anyone to be deported? Have I, Secretary Chertoff, called for anyone’s execution? No, though as the secretary knows we have every right to deport illegals individually or en masse.
Have I fixed every single hole in the border? No. But these solutions would go a long way toward taking away most of the reasons illegals come here, businesses hire them and businesses pursue them as customers.
The problem with these simple solutions is that various business interests are against 2 and 4 because they will cost them money. The Senate already shamefully shot down #1. And groups like La Raza are against even basic border security (#5), and they will brand anyone who favors border security as “racist” etc. Their allies at the WSJ will echo that dishonest argument. Politicians run from that word when they ought to counter with accurate arguments to frame immigration reform as what it is: a national security issue. So even though we don’t have to run a stream of a thousand buses south to deport all 12 million illegal aliens currently living in the US, we won’t get basic, simple security measures that would dry up most of the pond in which the illegals thrive. We’ll end up either with another grand amnesty that hardly anyone actually wants and won’t actually stem the flow of illegals into the US, or we’ll end up with nothing. Either way, the system won’t get fixed.
It’s so simple a congressman could do it, but most won’t.